Monday, August 12, 2013

August in New York...

... is one of exodus.  The city empties as residents seek to be calmed by the sea, cooled by the green shade from a mountain top, or inspired by the intoxicating glow of the moon from the other side of the world.  

As exotic and relaxing as all this sounds, traveling with allergies and asthma at times can be dangerous. Being in unfamiliar territory can pose some unexpected challenges.  

Recently my patients have told me stories about their difficulty with allergies- like a moldy apartment in Buenos Aires, Brazil that triggered an asthma attack, cedar storm in TX during a music festival causing severe sinusitis and loss of voice, and sunscreen allergy during a surfing expedition in Costa Rica causing a very bad rash.

Here are some easy tips to keep you healthy, safe and focused on your priority as Robert Louis Stevenson says, "For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” 

Have food allergies?

  • Do a quick search to see what restaurants in the area are friendly for those with allergies.
  • Have a travel anaphylaxis kit to carry in you carry on or purse

Have asthma?
  • Bring an extra inhaler along with you in your bag.  You never know what kind of environmental triggers you'll be exposed to in your vacation home.
  • Check out common triggers/environmental exposures you might face 
  • Ask your doctor to put together an emergency supply of medicine that you can bring with you in case you get sick- this will help keep you out of an unfamiliar emergency room,
Have skin allergies?
  • Bring travel size versions of your favorite sunscreens, moisturizers, shampoos/conditioners
  • Ask your doctor for a small tube of a corticosteriod to carry with you just in case; no one wants to be be itchy and scratchy while on vacation
Going somewhere where they speak another language?
  • If you have food allergies  translate your food allergy before you go.  It might help to put this on a card and carry it with you to make sure there's no confusion
  • In many countries asthma and allergy medications are over the counter.  Translate your problem so you'll be able to effectively communicate with the pharmacist there.
With these simple effective tips, your vacation will be filled with laughter, love, and beautiful memories rather than a trip the doctor

Want more directed tips on allergies and travel?  Feel free to email me at jcollins@gramercyallergy.com, click here to schedule an appointment, call the office 212-679-3574 or check out our new website- www.gramercyallergy.com

"Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God"– Kurt Vonnegut


  1. Great Blog- here are some other helpful tips when traveling with allergies

  2. this is a great blog-

    I thought this website also had some great tips for planning our upcoming vacation